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Dr Mamphela Ramphele is wrong, 20 June 2013

The statement made by Dr Mamphela Ramphele regarding education as reported in the media is not only baseless but devoid of truth. She claims government has failed South Africa’s youth through corrupt and inept management of the education system.

Her unfounded rants demonstrate further the sheer lack of understanding and appreciation of the education sector on the part of one who claims academic standing. A plethora of academics, researchers, educationists and international experts acknowledge and appreciate the fact that education is a very complex sector and therefore not a terrain for grandstanding or mental gimmicks. It is most unfortunate that she has deliberately elected to be petty and misleading in her criticism of education in post-apartheid South Africa.

We’re not and neither can we be held responsible for the political miscalculations and failure to properly read and understand the South African political terrain on her part when she chose to form one forum with a controversial name.

Dr Ramphele shows a glaring lack of knowledge of the basic education sector.

The facts indicate that under the leadership of Minister Angie Motshekga there have been huge improvements in education. We have uplifted our people from disadvantaged communities more than she can ever imagine.

A few examples should suffice. There’s more access to Early Childhood Development and also in inclusive education for children from poor and working class communities. As we speak, school participation is nearly 100% for the basic compulsory band (7-15 years).

Over 8 million children from poor communities in more than 82% of public schools, now receive free education, in no-fees paying schools. Many learners benefit from the more than R5 billion that is put into the National School Nutrition Programme.

The number of learners who achieved bachelors passes almost doubled over the last 12 years, from around 70 000 in 2000 to around 136 000 in 2012. We’ve also seen more learners receiving Learner Teacher Support Material as compared to the proverbial Egypt she so appears to deeply miss.
The association of private schools has approached the Department to have the primary learning and teaching support materials (workbooks) made available to them given the value and quality of these books.

We expect her to know that only 4% of all learners attending schools in South Africa are in private schools. This represents a high confidence in the public education schooling system.

The Basic Education Department has made great strides in improving quality across the system. The 2011 Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) and the Trends in International Maths and Science Study have confirmed the performance of our learners in international studies is improving. The recent exam results of the National Senior Certificate have also improved from 67 to 75% including the 2013 NSC supplementary results.

We need to remind Dr Ramphele that there’s also progress in replacing mud and unsafe schools with state-of the-art institutions of quality learning. She just has to go to the Eastern Cape to see these schools for herself, and from July, the Department will be leading the official handover of new schools per week as many are being built and completed.

Since 1996 the number of schools with no running water dropped from around 9 000 to around 1 700. The number of schools without electricity dropped from 15 000 to 2 800.

In spite of challenges encountered so far, we’ll replace a further 200 inappropriate schools, 132 are in the Eastern Cape, 30 in the Free State, 3 in KwaZulu-Natal, 3 in Limpopo, 5 in Mpumalanga, 1 in the Northern Cape, 1 in North West and 25 in the Western Cape, with 25% completion expected by end of 2013/14.

The audit report of the DBE has been unqualified and the audit profile of the sector has tremendously improved. This in a nutshell should show the track record of Minister Motshekga in the sector.

The allegation of money-laundering is a very serious allegation. We therefore challenge Dr. Ramphele to provide evidence and motivate her claims or the DBE would be left with no option but to request the Human Rights Commission to investigate this allegation.

Only reckless and desperate cheap politicking can blind anyone to such clear, simple, overt and logical facts. We refuse to be used as a stepping-stone in the promotion of any new forum.
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Written By: WebMaster WebMaster
Date Posted: 6/20/2013
Number of Views: 1869

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